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How much do kids write in year 1

(16 Posts)
Ipsos Tue 01-Mar-16 14:16:39


My son is a very able reader, but not that keen on writing. The teachers have asked me to gee him up a bit but I'm not sure how much a year one boy of 5 and three quarters would normally write and I don't want to push too hard as he is constantly exhausted by school.

One of his classmates last week wrote an essay of three pages with about 40 words per page. My ds doesn't really see the need to press on as far as 10 words.

I wondered if anyone might know what the average is and whether there are useful resources that might help? I was not a keen writer at 5 either.


Stompylongnose Tue 01-Mar-16 14:26:08

There's a huge variation.
My sons were also shirkers when it came to writing. Their teachers were able to coax a paragraph or two by the end of year 1. Their sister was able to write pages and pages but she saw quantity as a sign of achievement especially as she sat on a table where everyone was super competitive.
I'm not a teacher but I think that teachers prefer quality over quantity. A paragraph where there's a beginning/middle/end and good attempts at punctuation and spelling would be preferred over pages of writing without structure. They also rate things like adding connectives to make longer, more interesting sentences.

EyeoftheStorm Tue 01-Mar-16 14:28:19

Paragraphs and connectives!

I'd love ten words.

cheapandcheerful Tue 01-Mar-16 14:32:12

I'm a Year 1 teacher.

If he's really reluctant, I would start with labels/captions to be honest, before moving onto sentences. I think to expect a reluctant Year 1 to write a whole paragraph might be a tall order!

What does he like? Could you get him to make a book about a topic of interest? Each day do a page with either a high-quality sentence or a picture with caption. By the end of the week he will have written a whole book which he will hopefully be proud of.

Pinkgeek Tue 01-Mar-16 14:32:32

You could be a teacher stompy!

I am one and what you said is exactly right. Quality is key at such a young age. Also, enthusiasm. Turning a child off writing because they think they have always got to write reams is not good.
I taught year 1 last year and only asked for one quality sentence at the beginning of the year, progressing to 3-5 quality sentences by the end.
Every child is different and some exceeded this whilst others didn't. As long as they tried their best, that's all that mattered. I also tried to give them a chance to add their own passions into their writing.
I much preferred to see 3 sentences that were well thought out than 3 pages of drivel!

Ipsos Tue 01-Mar-16 14:34:26

Oh! I didn't know any of that. Thanks!

So if could aim for three correctly composed lines with an "and" or a "but" then we might be more popular? Wow. That sounds potentially achievable.

Ipsos Tue 01-Mar-16 14:36:48

Yes I see what you mean. We could certainly aim for 3 sentences and he is definitely able to manage quality because he reads like a steam train, so he must know what the written language is about. This is all so encouraging, thanks for all these hints!

Ipsos Tue 01-Mar-16 14:58:52

This is his writing from this morning, on A4 paper. It tends to come out a bit on the big side, but he has quite a big personality too so I think it may just be that. He has written "escape goat" and "mouse friend" here and drawn the goat and mouse. Do you think it matter that the writing is quite big? Thanks!

Ipsos Tue 01-Mar-16 15:01:28

It's normally a bit better than that but he was using a massive pen from a tourist shop.

Stompylongnose Tue 01-Mar-16 16:07:08

It's hard to write on unlined paper. Is his writing smaller if the paper is lined?

His writing is pretty equal in size. If he's ok with a little criticism then "g" and "p" would go below a hypothetical line and letters like f are taller than letters like "r".

irvine101 Tue 01-Mar-16 17:48:20

You can use this website. It gives you inspirational picture everyday.
You can answer the question, or you can just ask him what ever he thinks about the picture, or he can write story about it.

Ipsos Tue 01-Mar-16 17:50:09

I went and asked the teacher and she says he can write a lot more than 3-5 well constructed sentences already. She's going to show me tomorrow. Maybe that's why he's so knackered? Oh well.

Thanks so much for the feedback. That was really helpful.

SitsOnFence Tue 01-Mar-16 17:59:54

My DS (now 7) was like this at 5. Do you know why your DS is reluctant to write? Mine loved (verbally) telling stories and was very eloquent, but had poor motor skills. His problem was handwriting rather than writing, if you see what I mean?

I was worried that he'd started to see writing as something 'not fun to do', so I taught him to use my laptop and type out things in Word. He produced some really very lovely stories. Then we tackled the motor skills using things like sticky mosaics, loom bands, Hama beads etc.

By the time he was 6 his handwritten had caught up a bit (it was truly terrible, much worse than your DS's) and is pretty good now. Most importantly though, he'll write at home for fun, so hasn't been put off!

Ipsos Wed 02-Mar-16 04:57:46

That's good to know, thanks. :-) The thing that worries me is that they seem to ask such a lot at our school. I asked if we could aim for 3-5 sentences and apparently he's doing a lot more than that already. However, he's also constantly exhausted at home, often ill, and doesn't have the energy for things like swimming that his friends are doing. I wish they'd calm it down a bit at school.

Noitsnotteatimeyet Wed 02-Mar-16 06:47:36

This makes me so cross!!! There's so much variation in children of that age and what they're doing at 5 is not a predictor of academic success later on.

My eldest was only just starting to read at this point in Y1 and could barely write a word let alone a sentence. However he loved telling stories and being read to and over the course of the next few months he just took off. He got a 4 in the Y2 SATS and finished school last year with the equivalent of a double A* in English at A-level (different system).

My middle one was also very reluctant to write at that age but he's dyspraxic and has poor motor skills- he was able to produce much more once he started using a laptop

The key is to keep reading and writing enjoyable at this age - you don't want to put him off before he's even properly begun

Ipsos Wed 02-Mar-16 07:43:44

Thanks, yes I totally agree. I moved from a very demanding school to a much gentler school when I was 8 and went from being a totally demoralised low-achiever to being in the top group in class. I think that pushing 5 year olds to a state of exhaustion is a daft idea.

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